Professional Development for Metallurgists – Improving Technical Skills

D Drinkwater,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 0
Publication Date: Aug 8, 2011
In 2009, Peter Munro and Peter Tilyard examined the “human capital” in the mineral processing sector in a paper entitled Back to the Future (Munro and Tilyard, 2009). One of their major concerns was a general decline in technical skills and process knowledge, exacerbated by lack of appreciation of the impact this can have on process plant performance and, ultimately, profitability or sustainability of the industry. There are many reasons for this decline, not least of which are the work schedules of today’s metallurgists which have a very different balance between technical and non-technical responsibility than those in the past. However, a shift towards a more technical focus has potential to deliver a range of benefits for industry at large and for the individuals in it This paper discusses some options for development of core metallurgical and process engineering skills that can be used by graduates, employers and training providers.Key skills are identified and mapped against available opportunities for development, such as existing graduate programs, on-the job training and external courses. The authors also review a number of past and present high-quality graduate development programs, including the graduate development program in place at Mount Isa Mines in the 1980s and the Anglo Platinum Graduate Development Program (AGDP) currently operating in South Africa.
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